Health DG Sandile Buthelezi suspended over Digital Vibes deal

Health department director-general Sandile Buthelezi has been suspended over his alleged role in the Digital Vibes tender saga.

2021-09-26 06:14:00 PM

Health department director-general Sandile Buthelezi has been suspended over his alleged role in the Digital Vibes tender saga.

Health department director-general Sandile Buthelezi has been suspended over his alleged role in the Digital Vibes tender saga.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspension had resulted in Buthelezi’s salary being withheld.In August, the Sunday Times reported that papers filed by the SIU at the Special Tribunal indicated that department officials went as far as creating fictitious companies and doctoring the scores of competitors to eliminate competition for Digital Vibes - the beneficial owners of which were Mkhize’s friend Tahera Mather and his former personal assistant, Mather’s niece Naadhira Mitha.

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“The procurement process was ... a sham, designed and conducted to reach the predetermined result that Digital Vibes would be appointed,” lead investigator Rajendra Chunilall said in the SIU’s founding affidavit.Former health director-general Precious Matsoso told the SIU that Mather began work at the department immediately upon Mkhize’s appointment as minister.

Matsoso said she received a text message from Mkhize three days after the department had unsuccessfully tried to appoint Mather as a communications consultant on the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme in July 2019, instructing her to ensure that Mather was hired. headtopics.com

Ten days later, the department asked the National Treasury to approve a R133m NHI communications contract with Digital Vibes without a bidding process. The Treasury refused, advising the department to advertise a public tender. But instead of advertising, the department issued a closed tender to 10 companies.

Forensic accountant Hesti le Roux’s investigation found that:Two of the 10 companies issued with the request for proposals (RFP) did not exist and were made up from email addressesSix of the companies did not respond to the bid as it fell outside their scope of business. One was a change advisory firm, one supplied computer equipment and another did graphic design; and

Before the RFP was sent out, Mather allegedly created a fraudulent profile for Digital Vibes with the requisite skills and experience by creating a “fictitious team” to boost the “nonexistent credentials of Digital Vibes”.It was later found that some of these individuals never worked for Digital Vibes and were not paid. As a consequence of the alleged rigging, only two companies responded, Digital Vibes and Brandswell.

Brandswell had the upper hand because its R69m quote was less than half of the R141m Digital Vibes wanted.But then, said Le Roux, the department inexplicably issued a second RFP and amended the specifications.When it came to scoring, Le Roux said, Brandswell was prejudiced by the department’s five-member tender evaluation committee (TEC), which included deputy director-general Anban Pillay and head of communications Popo Maja. headtopics.com

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One of Brandswell’s scores was lowered, leading to the company scoring below the required 60% to get the contract. On the other hand, the more costly Digital Vibes was  awarded full scores for experience even though it could not submit the required reference letters.

Le Roux found that the TEC “irregularly and irrationally” marked down Brandswell, “a long-standing and reputable communication solution service provider”.She concluded: “Clearly, the recommendation by the TEC to award the contract to Digital Vibes was invalid in terms of the provisions the constitution, because the procurement process was not fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and/or cost-effective. Therefore, the service level agreement that was concluded with Digital Vibes should be declared invalid.”

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When are we as taxpayers going to see the full might of the law being implemented against these government officials... Lokho zikhalile 😕 Any one stealing of misappropriation state's (TAX PLAYERS MONEY) money, MUST BE sentenced to life imprisonment, no parole. Not just 'suspended'. Most likely with full pay. Unless someone is going to suspend him from a tree.

Health department rotten to the can start NHI with those Shananigans they are doing.!!! What about the deputy minister of health?💁‍♂️ Kzn mhhh I don’t care. What about the boy Duduzane with his Guptas father ? I came across your page at my lowest moment and it's a life changer, thank you so much LindaStouffes

Not arrested?

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Health DG Sandile Buthelezi suspended over Digital Vibes dealHealth ministry spokesperson Foster Mohale on Sunday confirmed that Buthelezi has been suspended after a report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the alleged tender fraud. I came across your page at my lowest moment and it's a life changer, thank you so much LindaStouffes

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Health DG Sandile Buthelezi suspended over Digital Vibes dealHealth ministry spokesperson Foster Mohale on Sunday confirmed that Buthelezi has been suspended after a report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the alleged tender fraud. I came across your page at my lowest moment and it's a life changer, thank you so much LindaStouffes

Health dept DG Sandile Buthelezi suspended - reportPrior to Buthelezi’s precautionary suspension, he had been on leave for two weeks. Words alone won’t express how thankful I’m recommending you all to you shantelll_142 .....,investing with you has been a good opportunity for me and my family I just received my profit of R60,000 within five days of investment shantelll_142